The hand blood flow of Igloolik Eskimos was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography. The purpose of the investigation was to study circulatory adjustments to cold exposure. Such adjustment can be anatomical or functional. Our attention was especially directed to maximal resting circulation with the aim of obtaining information about the capacity of the peripheral vascular bed in different age groups of cold-exposed people. Resting blood flow ml/100 ml handvolume/min in vasodilated Eskimo men did not appreciably differ from that of men of the same age in other ethnic groups. Women of 20-50 years of age had significantly higher circulation than men 20-50 years. This finding may be due to the smaller hand and the relative quantities of different tissues. Females above 50 years had a very low hand circulation compared with the younger females, in contrast to males above 50 years who did not differ significantly from their younger colleagues. Any explanation other than hormonal is not warranted at this time. The results show that cold stress to the skin does not induce hypertrophy of the peripheral vascular bed which can be detected during vasodilated conditions or reactive hyperemia after 5 minutes of arterial stasis.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 1030.